Once per term, the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre offers a travel award to assist Master of Sustainability students who wish to present their research at conferences with expenses, such as conference registration fees. This term, two SSAS students received the award and presented at two different online conferences before they complete their studies.
Pulkit Garg presented at Brock University’s Faculty of Social Sciences Research Colloquium in December 2020. His presentation, “Reviewing the Options for the Agricultural Sector to Adapt to Climate Change: Case Study of the Niagara Region, ON” consisted of MRP research he completed in the SSAS program under the supervision of Dr. Liette Vasseur. This was the second conference Pulkit has participated in, with the first being the International Conference on Sustainable Development that was held virtually in New York City in September 2020.
Pulkit said of his presentation at the colloquium, “I couldn’t have asked for a better learning experience during this pandemic. The colloquium gave me an ideal platform where I could present my findings and lend impetus to my work while learning from other presenters in the process”. He also described “the feeling of pride and honour I experienced in representing my supervisor, the sustainability program and the ecology lab” as a highlight of the experience.
At the end of April, Jessica Zugic presented her research at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly. The conference took place during the last two weeks of April, with Jessica’s presentation session taking place on April 27th, 2021. Jessica’s presentation about the short-term impacts of a partial harvesting technique on carbon sequestration and growth of a red pine plantation in southern Ontario, was based on thesis research she completed (and successfully defended) under the supervision of Dr. Michael Pisaric. This was Jessica’s fourth conference during her time in the SSAS program.
Both Jessica and Pulkit mentioned the positive influence the SSAS program had as they prepared for their presentations. Jessica mentioned the weekly emails sent by the SSAS program as being influential in her decision to attend this conference, and added, “The SSAS program has always promoted different conferences and meetings that students could attend, thus encouraging students to present their research and get involved in the academic community”. Pulkit echoed these statements and added “the blend of field projects coupled with course work [in the SSAS program] taught me resilience and the importance of openness to feedback and continuous learning, along with research/analytical capabilities”.
We are very proud of these students, both of whom will be graduating from the SSAS program in June 2021.